It has been such a strange time, in the whole wide world, and in ours.
It is too hard to write about the former,
and it is too hard to write about the latter,
so I will just tell you about yesterday.
Yesterday was K’s birthday!
We celebrated by waking him up with cuddles and singing.
But, then, real life stepped in. There were lunches to be packed. Kids to dress. Work to be done.
There were drop-offs to make on time. There were chores for me once I got home.
There were phone calls, some professional; some personal; some hard.
I put together dinner so that we could eat as a family and timed it so that it would be ready promptly at our dinner time.
I picked up my son from school and we immediately went to the grocery store to get supplies to bake a cake.
And balloons. He was adamant that we get balloons. But, it was hard to choose. Did we want Minions? Barbie? Mickey?
We settled on one that featured birthday emojis, one Barbie for Boppy and one “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”.
(An aside: my son loves turtles, but thanks to Peppa he calls a turtle a “torTISE”. He doesn’t know anything about TMNT and so he just saw that they were turtles, and so the rest of the day he was so psyched to have a “Ginger TorTISE” balloon. Not Ninja Turtle. Ginger TorTISE.)
I ran into a dear family friend after checking out and I called out to her.
“Look! I am at the grocery store! I am being a real mom today!” She smiled and hugged me because she gets it;
she gets why I am proud of these small victories. On the way home, I called my friend back and I said, “Hi, this is Becca, and I promise that this is the real Becca, and I will answer security questions if you need for me to verify, because the reason why I did not pick up when you first called was because I was in the grocery store…”
Once we got Boppy from the bus stop, it was cake baking time. We aimed for a vanilla cake with vanilla frosting, because that is the only thing that my son would eat, but we made the cake have blue marble swirls and a plan for decorating.
While the cake was baking, the kids and I hung out in the living room, tuned into the inauguration coverage. If you want to follow this part of my life, I suggest checking out my Instagram page, as my sister is now being featured prominently on some major news organizations. She is a journalist, writing for Vanity Fair, but was also recently made
Correspondent CNN and it brings me SUCH immense pride. She is making her own history. My daughter–and other little girls–can stare at the tv and say, “I can do that, someday!” and I cannot even put those emotions into words.
So, as I sat on the floor of my living room yesterday afternoon, untangling THREE balloons from one another (which I think is quite an accomplishment, especially when they all are stuck with those clippy things; that was legit), we watched my sister as she sat on a panel with Wolf Blitzer and David Gregory and David Axelrod, in front of the Lincoln Memorial’s reflecting pond.
Yes, Fox meets Wolf.
My kids could not stop watching.
And then, the birthday boy came home!
He read his cards. My daughter’s was the best. She had made it at school and there was a picture of our family, and the card read:
“I know you love watches, I see up above,
but all I could get you was lots of love!”
We ate dinner as a family, giggling through every bite. My son was being naughty and we laughed and laughed.
When it was time for the dessert, we presented my husband with his ugly cake. This tradition started many years ago but has now become both inevitable and beloved.
When my children were born, I vowed to always make homemade cakes for their birthdays. It would be my thing.
For my daughter’s first birthday, I went big. I was ambitious, with fondant and colors. I made a Yo Gabba Gabba cake with a 3D Foofa. And it was pretty good, but there was some issue with it, one that, today, I can no longer even remember. But every year, every cake, since, something has gone wrong with the cake that prevented it from being perfect. Layers have fallen. Color has come out wrong, The cake has broken right in half.
Last night, my daughter was responsible for the message and chose, “Happy Birthday, Dude!” (which was a big improvement from last year’s “Happy Birthday Poopface”)
Ugly as can be. Therefore, it was perfect.
Once the kids went to bed we spoke to family members, ate some more dessert and texted with my sister as the tv coverage took commercial breaks.
It was so cool. So surreal. We texted with my baby sis about baby sis things and then she would say, “Ok, gotta go, going back on air.”
completely overcome by fits of laughter. When we tried to talk, we would break down into hysterical laughter, again, and we laughed until our bellies ached. We laughed so hard that we cried. We were that emoji come to life.
I went to bed so full; tear eyes, full hearts…you know.
This morning I woke up to the sound of a little boy’s voice. It was 6:30 am and someone opened our door, crept over to the bed, and asked, quietly, “Can I snuggle?”
There were three in the bed and the little one said…
the door opened again.
It was my daughter, who didn’t even bother to ask before she slid into the spot next to me, her head next to mine on the pillow, her cold, little feet touching my legs.
The four of us cuddled up, still in our dreamy states, and we talked about yesterday and the days ahead.
And so, as a way to start the day, this day that is so momentous in so many ways, I put on a song that has been dear to our family for years.
“This Will Be Our Year” by The Zombies. We have listened to this song since my daughter was a baby, and it is so optimistic. It reminds me to be, as well.
The warmth of your smile,
smile for me, little one,
and this will be our year,
took a long time to come.
When the song ended, sleep drifting further and further away and the reality of daylight starting to set in, I grabbed my phone and put on another song. A song that also has history for us.
As the beat of Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own” started to pulse, we all started to move, but all still in the bed.
Each one of us started to dance, doing different moves; my daughter showed us how she can do the “mashed potato”; K did the lawnmower; I just did my typical dance partying; the baby was mimicking a Ginger TorTISE
(jk jk jk jk #laughingwithtearsemoji).
We danced together, the four of us in our Queen-sized bed, and that is how we started the day today.
We do not know what this year will bring. There is a lot of trepidation and there is a lot going on that is weighing on us.
But, I do know one thing:
This morning we started the day with a dance party, before the sun was even visible in the sky.
This will be a morning that I will not forget,
no matter how the next few days or weeks or months go.
This is what we are all about. This is what LIFE is all about.
Cheering on our sister; our aunt;
Laughing until our bellies hurt;
This will be the start of a new era, today, but despite some obstacles in our way, I have the best team EVER on my side.
This will be our year
took a long time to come.